Do you believe the Bible is The Word of GOD? Or as critics, see it to be purely a human production? Maybe, as many of you are somewhere in between, yet there is a great deal of evidence to be gleaned from the Scriptures that show GOD’s hand in creating The Great Literary Collection, called The Bible.
Consider, what do Esther 1:20, 5:4, 5:13 & 7:7 have in common with Exodus 3:13, 4:3, 4:14 & 4:16? If all you can think of is that they are Bible verses, please read on. Though not common knowledge, it has been known for some time that those four verses in Esther have acrostic spellings of The Hallowed Name (YHVH) to be seen only in the Hebrew texts. Of course, critics dismiss them as coincidence. However, many believers, those that even know about them, see them as designed. The Hallowed Name, “hidden” in a book which has no overt occurrence, actually not even a mention is made of GOD in that book. In other words, GOD had outwardly abandoned the Jews in their captivity in Babylon/Persia; but “hidden” as those acrostics of The Hallowed Name in the text, behind the scenes was still caring for them.
What is an acrostic? Basically, it is a literary device, in one form, a verse or set of verses (Psalm 119) each begin with the letters going through the alphabet; in another certain letters of consecutive words spell another word. For example; I designed this following line in a poem, “What is lain lost in a mystery?”, so that the first letters of each word would spell my name “William.” Only one, two or even three such acrostics in Esther, spelling The Hallowed Name, could easily be dismissed as a fluke. However, those in that Hebrew text, compose a complete set of the four possible designs.
What do I mean by, “complete set” and “design”? In my example, the beginning letters (B) spell my name going forward (F). I term that a “beginning forward” or (BF) design acrostic, that type occurs in Esther 5:4. In Esther 1:20, The Hallowed Name is spelled by the beginning letters (B), but in reverse (R) or “HVHY,” a (BR) design. In the other two acrostics, it is the ending letters (E) of four consecutive words which spell The Hallowed Name.
Esther 5:13 is an (ER) design and 7:7 is an (EF). Such a set (i.e. one each of these four possible designs) is far less probable to be a mere grammatical coincidence, than the odd occurrence of any one or few. The Esther set may be noted as, BR, BF, ER, EF. Seemingly unbelievable is that a mirror image of those in Esther should be found as a set in the book of Exodus, EF, ER, BF, BR, yet they are there. That is, the last acrostic in that set in Exodus 4:16 is a (BR), just as the first in Esther 1:20. The next to last in Exodus 4:14 compares to the second in Esther 5:4 as (BF) designs; Exodus 4:3 and Esther 5:13 are both (ER) designs. While the counterpart to the last in Esther 7:7, the first in Exodus 3:13 has an (EF) design; also surprising is that it occurs right in the midst of Moses’ question to GOD upon HIS Hallowed Name. Note that this Exodus set of acrostics are all found in the very short story (less than 700 Hebrew words) of Moses’ encounter at the “burning bush.” Even more astounding is that just after this first Exodus acrostic in 3:13, are the oft noted occurrences of “I AM” in 3:14. While in Esther 7:5, just prior to that last EF acrostic, there is a dual acrostic design spelling that same Hebrew word for “I AM,” (EHYH), both forward and reversed in five consecutive words(EHYHE).
That atheist critics or agnostics will say, “So what,” I expect. One argument that these acrostics are simply coincidental goes as follows; “The Hebrew letters that spell The Hallowed Name are as common as E, S and T in English. They begin and end many words, thus such occurrences are grammatically inevitable as one might find acrostic spellings of the name, TESS in an English text.” Wrong! And there is a simple way to refute that. Besides the four ways that those Hebrew letters may spell The Hallowed Name, there are twenty other combinations which do not. At a ratio of 20 to 4 or 5 to 1, one would expect to find many of those non-spellers in the Esther text (about 3200 words) as well; but they aren’t there. Sixteen of those twenty possible combinations never occur; only YVHH begins four consecutive words once, and HVYH begins them twice, while VHYH and HYHV each end four consecutive Hebrew words once apiece.
Consider that, one each of the four combinations that spell The Hallowed Name to only five of the twenty possible which do not. Coincidence? To consider these Esther acrostics as a fluke does not stand up in that light. The acrostics of The Hallowed Name are not grammatically inevitable, just because the letters are so common. The sparsity of non-spelling combinations discredit that claim. Also, that at least some scribes knew this is evidenced in some ancient Esther texts, where the letters forming the acrostics were written in larger bolder fonts, to emphasize them as designed into the Hebrew text.
Obviously, there is so much more to this than I can relate here. The acrostics of Esther and Exodus are but the tip of the iceberg. To many, my going word by word through each book of a Hebrew Bible, seeking out the acrostics as well as non-spellers, may seem a fool’s errand. To me each of the 171 acrostics I found, seemed a rare gem. All but two of the books (24, according to the Hebrew canon) had at least one; and sets as those mentioned were found in seven other books, but none in as compact a text as in the Exodus, burning bush story.
For about the past three centuries, there has been no lack for critical scholarship attempting to discredit The Bible as GOD’s Word. However, there is, as I first noted, much evidence for The Hand of GOD in writing the Scriptures for those with eyes willing to see and ears willing to hear. To dismiss the facts related above as merely coincidental, again, I ask, “Do you believe the Bible is The Word of GOD?” I do, because time and again through my studies HE has shown me.